Published On: Tue, Oct 4th, 2016

News Scan for Turkey, Oct 04th 2016

Turkey lowers growth forecasts, raises inflation forecast in ‘worst case’ scenario

The government has revised down its forecast for Turkey’s economy this year, which it now expects to grow 3.2 percent in 2016 and 4.4 percent in 2017, Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım said on Oct. 4 in what he described as a “worst case” scenario. Yıldırım also announced a lowering of growth forecasts in the government’s medium-term economic program, which he put down to the “negative global situation.”

The previous program, unveiled in January, anticipated growth of 4.5 percent this year and 5 percent in 2017, but the economy has grown less than anticipated since then, with the failed coup attempt in July exacerbating the slowdown.

Yıldırım predicted that economic growth would rise to 5 percent in 2018 and 2019, adding that he hoped the medium-term program would boost fiscal discipline and strengthen public finances.

“We have reached GDP growth of above 3 percent over this year so far … If we exclude China and India, we can say Turkey has reached an economic growth rate double the world average,” he said.

‘Turkish Pentagon’ to be formed in capital Ankara: Report

The National Intelligence Agency (MİT), the Defense Ministry, the Turkish General Staff and other security commands will be moved to the Etimesgut district of Ankara, as a part of measures taken after the failed July 15 coup attempt, daily Habertürk reported on Oct. 4.

The move comes after the government decided to move all military units with heavy weapons and armored vehicles to the outside central areas of cities. The area in Etimesgut will become a “security campus” similar to the Pentagon in the U.S. and security institutions will reportedly carry out their activities from one center.

The construction of the MİT’s new building in the area is ongoing and the agency will move there from Ankara’s Yenimahalle district when construction is completed. It will be joined by the Defense Ministry, the Turkish General Staff and other military departments in the same area. New buildings will reportedly be constructed for the Defense Ministry and the General Staff, with the Ground, Naval and Air Forces moving to those buildings.

We are living in a semi-open prison: Kılıçdaroğlu

“We have imprisoned writers, journalists and artists. We are actually living in a semi-open prison, but we’ll continue to resist” Kılıçdaroğlu said,  in the ground-breaking ceremony of the new Zülfü Livaneli Art Center, which will be built by the Çankaya Municipality in the capital Ankara.

“We will know how to struggle. Artists, writers, cartoonists, journalists and lawyers should not worry; Turkey will continue on the path of contemporary civilization” he added.

CHP Deputy Chair Tekin Bingöl, CHP Parliamentary Group Deputy Chair Engin Altay and Çankaya Mayor Alper Taşdelen participated in the ceremony, along with Kılıçdaroğlu and popular composer and singer Zülfü Livaneli. The CHP head said “no dictatorship favors art or artists.”

Turkey purges 13,000 police officers over failed coup

Turkey has suspended almost 13,000 police officers for their alleged links with the US-based Muslim cleric, Fethullah Gulen. The latest wave adds to the 100,000 or so government workers dismissed or suspended since July’s failed coup.

Mr Gulen denies the government’s accusation that he or his supporters orchestrated the coup. The government in turn rejects claims it is using the coup as an excuse to get rid of its opponents. It insists those without proven links to the coup will be freed.

Turkey Tests Missile Defense System to Blunt IS Attacks

Turkey is in the final stages of a developing a new missile defense system to prevent rocket attacks on its cities by the Islamic State, Turkey’s defense minister says.

The system has been in the development process for the last 18 months and will be in the test phase this week before being deployed to stop IS Katyusha rockets, Turkish Defense Minister Fikri Isik said. “It has not been easy for us to intervene IS’s short-range Katyushas,” said Isik in an interview with CNN Turk, adding the system will “neutralize Katyushas.”

Over the past year, rocket fire has pummeled Turkish border towns from IS positions inside northern Syria. The southern town of Kilis has endured sustained attacks, killing at least 21 people, destroying entire neighborhoods and prompting residents to flee their homes.

Germany wants migrants sent back to Greece, Turkey

Athens (AFP) – Germany called Sunday for asylum seekers who entered the European Union via Greece to be forced to return there, while also urging Athens to send more migrants back to Turkey.

In an interview with a Greek daily, German interior minister Thomas de Maiziere said he wants to reinstate EU rules which oblige asylum seekers to be sent back to Greece as the first EU country they reached. “I would like the Dublin convention to be applied again… we will take up discussions on this in a meeting with (EU) interior ministers” later in October, he told the Greek daily Kathimerini.

The Dublin accord gives responsibility for asylum seekers’ application to the first country they reach — which put Greece on the frontline of more than a million migrants who arrived in the EU last year.

The accord also says asylum seekers should be sent back to the first country they arrived in if they subsequently reach another EU state before their case is examined. A huge proportion of the migrants ended up in Germany.

This is a news-scan from major Turkish papers and internet sites. However, we do not verify above stories neither do we vouch for their accuracy.

compiled by Editor BTT

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